Suburbia 1984 Short Review


For a punk who came from a broken family, it’s a common feeling to feel as though you don’t fit in. I have struggled with that my entire life. The 1983 movie Suburbia, also known as Rebel Streets and The Wild Side will sure make you feel comfortable if you are a punk from a broken home. The movie itself is a low quality, low funded indie film written and directed by Penelope Spheeris. The punx in the movie are played by Timothy O’Brien, Bill Coyne, Chris Pedersen, Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers and others. It has been rumored that Ron Martinez aka, Ron Conflict, bassist in punk rock bands, Final Conflict, 46 Short and Lower Class Brats, was also in the film as an extra. Punk rock bands, D.I., T.S.O.L and The Vandals were featured in the film.

Jack, the leader of the T.R. crew would drive around suburbia finding open garages. He would then run in the home with a couple other T.R. members, steal their food and they would feed the group. With the exception of stealing food for survival, the group didn’t really break any laws. Instead, they often defended themselves for being punx. Jack’s step father, an African American, Los Angeles police officer kept the kids out of trouble by defending them. Throughout the movie, two rednecks who hated the group of kids because of their lifestyle and how they looked, tried driving the crew out of the abandoned house they claimed. The rednecks attended a local counsel meeting and claimed they would take the law into their own hands if Jack’s step father, the police officer didn’t step up and arrest the kids. The rednecks took it upon themselves and two major events in the movie were caused by them. If there is one thing I hated about the movie, it’s that it had a terrible ending. I wanted to see more! Most importantly, I wanted to see the the rednecks locked up. Although this movie will NEVER win any rewards, Suburbia is to punx what the movie Greece is to our parents and grandparents, a classic!

My Input: When is there going to be another punk rock film made? A movie that is backed by a punk record label, (NOT Vans Shoes! What a fucking Joke!!!), one that has enough funding for a descent quality film? We do have SLC Punk which is more like today however, it doesn’t take place in Southern California, actors play the roles of punks and in my opinion, it doesn’t have the best story line.

Written by: Christopher Bann